Republicans rally for change

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

District 27 Senate candidate Kathy Green and District 27A Rep. Rich Murray, at right, talk with Murray's wife and Albert Lea resident Matt Benda Monday following a Freeborn County Republican Party rally. --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Rallying their cause for a change in state and federal government, Freeborn County Republicans, along with their current state and federal party candidates, came together Monday in what was a final push before today’s general election.

Randy Demmer, Republican candidate for 1st District U.S. House of Representatives, speaks with two women following a Republican rally Monday. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Gathered at American Legion Leo Carey Post 56, about 60 people listened as 1st District U.S. House of Representative candidate Randy Demmer, District 27A representative candidate Rich Murray and District 27 Senate candidate Kathy Green, all Republicans, shared their hopes for election, while also encouraging their party members to vote.

“Go out and take advantage of this wonderful thing we call voting,” said Demmer, of Hayfield, who faces incumbent Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Mankato.

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Joined by his parents, his wife, Kathy, and her parents on the second-to-last stop of his “Heartland Values Tour,” Demmer encouraged people to take others with them to vote as well.

He called today’s election the most important election of his lifetime and ultimately it is a decision about what direction the voters want this country to go, he said.

Former legislator and Albert Lea resident Paul Overgaard speaks Monday during a Freeborn County Republican Party rally at the American Legion Leo Carey Post 56. Former legislator Bob Haukoos, also of Albert Lea, spoke before Overgaard. --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

He stated the country’s government needs to get back under control where people can make decisions for themselves on their own without government mandates. The people are what makes the United States a great country, he added.

He thanked Murray and Green for stepping up to run locally and also stumped for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who faces a tight election with DFL candidate Mark Dayton, according to recent polls.

Green, of Austin, who faces incumbent DFL state Sen. Dan Sparks, said after campaigning the last few months, she now considers Freeborn County to be part of her home.

“I’ve fallen in love with what I’ve seen, and I’ve fallen in love with the people,” she said.

She noted that regardless of what happens in today’s election, she and others need to stay engaged in the community in some facet or another.

Murray, of Albert Lea, who faces incumbent DFL Rep. Robin Brown, said he has enjoyed the last five months of his campaign, meeting with people in the community and renewing friendships.

“I feel like the most blessed man,” he said. “I feel like I’ve already won.”

Randy Demmer, Republican candidate for 1st District U.S. House of Representatives, talks with area residents Monday following a Republican rally at the American Legion Leo Carey Post 56. --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

He said he will work hard for the district if he’s elected.

Former legislator Bob Haukoos, who served for 16 years, said he supported the three Republican candidates present.

“We have the right candidates and they have the right issues,” Haukoos said. “We can’t go wrong.”

Former legislator Paul Overgaard told the audience they had the opportunity to turn the state of government around for the state and the country.

In addition to rallies, parties on both sides of the aisle were also busy making last-minute phone calls to voters.

The parties will set up campaign headquarters at Americas Best Value Inn on Main Street as the election results come in.

Look to tonight for the results as soon as they are available.